Fountain City Brass, directed by Joseph Parisi claimed their fourth US Open title in the last five years at the Norris Cultural Arts Center in St. Charles, Illinois on Saturday.
With a high class programme that mixed musical styles and genres with eye catching choreography and stunning solo contributions, they claimed the $1,000 first prize as well as gaining an invitation to compete at the 2012 Brass in Concert Championships.
The band’s remarkable euphonium soloist Lee Harrelson claimed the ‘Best Brass Soloist’ Award for his exemplary performance of his own take on Philip Wilby’s, ‘Flight & Zeibebikos’.
A typically modest, but undeniably delighted D, Joseph Parisi told 4BR: "It’s all about making music at the highest artistic level, not necessarily about winning. The fact that it turned out this way is testament to the work ethic this band is accustomed to."
Lee Harrelson added: "It’s just a privilege, an indescribable honour."
It’s all about making music at the highest artistic level, not necessarily about winning. The fact that it turned out this way is testament to the work ethic this band is accustomed toJoseph Parisi
Fountain’s scorching programme set gave them a commanding five point winning margin over resurgent Dublin Silver, who produced something of a shock in beating reigning champion, Brass Band of Central Florida into second place.
Dublin’s thematic programme of ‘A Hero’s Tale’, certainly impressed judges Dr Dale Lonois and Dr Jay Kennedy, with its cleverly realised mix of repertoire.
That saw them include Jan Van der Root’s ‘Mercury’ to Philip Sparke’s ‘Battle of Rastarkaiv’, which brought their programme to a shuddering close.
It proved to be just enough to repel the challenge of reigning champion Brass Band of Central Florida, who wowed the audience with their thrilling high powered Latin inspired approach.
Despite the outstanding contributions of prize winning soprano player Dee McAfee and the stratospheric cornet playing MD Chad Shoopman, they could not turn around an eight point entertainment deficit over their Dublin rivals.
Fourth place was claimed by a solid performance form Eastern Iowa, whilst Motor City was fifth and Prairie Brass sixth.
The ever popular Buskers Award, which sees the winners keep the proceeds of the money collected in an old top hat passed around the appreciative audience, saw the Prairie Dogs of Priaire Brass take the $293 collection for their sparkling renditions of Paul Simon’s ‘Late in the Evening’ and Chick Corea’s ‘Spain’.
A full retrospective by Michael Boo can be read at:
Adjudicators: Dr Dale Lonis & Dr Jay Kennedy
Performance/Entertainment = Total
1. Fountain City (Joseph Parisi) 195/43=238
2. Dublin Silver (Tim Jameson) 187/46=233
3. Central Florida (Chad Shoopman) 190/38=228
4. Eastern Iowa (Kate Wohlman) 177/34=211
5. Motor City (Craig Strain) 178/31=209
6. Prairie (Dallas Niermeyer) 172/30=202
Most Entertaining: Dublin Silver
Best Performance of a March: Dublin Silver
Best Featured Brass Soloist: Lee Harrelson (Fountain City)
Best New Arrangement/Composition: Dallas Niermeyer (Three Gershwin Preludes)
Best Cornet: Dee McAfee (Central Florida)
Most Outstanding Percussion: Fountain City
Buskers Award: Prairie Brass Band